Shopping for a new Vitamix Professional Blender can a major source of frustration, but if you know what to look for it shouldn’t be a big ordeal. Having your own kitchen blender is a great thing to have. However, you may find it is more difficult to find the perfect model for your use then what you think. This is when you should know more information about the kitchen blenders you can select from and how you should go about selecting the proper one for your specific needs. Then you can use the tool and know it will work properly for you all the time.
The first thing you should be looking for in the kitchen blender is the brand name. Brand names may not mean much to some people, but you need to realize these can make a dramatic impact on how the blender will be working. For example, KitchenAid, Ninja, Vitamix, Hamilton Beach and Magic Bullet have been around for a long time so most of the kinks and other issues have already been worked out of them.
How to Buy the Best Vitamix Professional Blender – Helpful Tips and Advice
There are a few other buzzwords that Euro-Pro likes to use in their marketing campaigns with the Ninja product line. Some of these can sound a bit confusing. Some also sound as though they are unique to Ninja, when in reality they are features that are included in many other blenders.
- Pro Variable Speed – Ninja states that the higher end models of the Ultima system features Pro Variable Speed.This is simply a speed adjustment dial on the base unit whichincreases your blending speed. This is certainly not a unique idea to ninja as many other companies in various price points offer varying speeds on their blenders. You can honestly find this feature on products ranging from $80 all the way into the $1000 price range. It is certainly not a unique selling point, however, it is certainly a nice feature to have as it allows you to start at slower speeds for chopping and slicing, and then increase speed for blending and pureeing.
- Patented Dual Stage Blending – This one really is a bit unique to Ninja. It refers to the blade sets within the blender and how they function together.
The first set of blades rotates at 5000 rpms and crushes hard fibrous fruits and vegetables, and also ice. The second set of blades in the bottom of the blender is designed to liquefy ingredients and create a cyclonic effect so that ingredients are pulled to the bottom of the blender and then mixed throughout the blending process.
What’s Good About the Ninja Ultima BL820
- Offers a lot of versatility through various attachments and accessories
- Provides a fairly smooth blending for smoothies ( more on that in the breakdown )
- Offers a strong blender in the mid-line price range
- Offers personalized blending in travel size cups
- Does an amazing job with frozen ingredients
- Completes most jobs in less than 30 seconds
What’s Bad About the Ninja Ultima BL820
- Blade attachment is VERY sharp and can result in cuts while unpacking and cleaning
- Inability to add ingredients while blending liquids
- Very loud (honestly what blender isn’t though?)
- Only offers a limited 2 year warranty which doesn’t include normal wear and tear (more about this in the breakdown)
- Plastic body build makes the machine feel cheap
- You can’t put hot liquids in it
- Pulse function is always very fast
What about the Lead Content Warning!!??
If you have done any research about this product line online, there are many reviewers who state that there is lead on the blades of this blending system. This is certainly not true. There is a warning on the bottom of the box that states the unit does contain lead, but it is merely in the mixture of the plastic which coats the power cord of the unit. You can find a more detailed explanation about this fact here
Ninja Ultima BL820 Breakdown
All in all, I believe that this is a pretty good blender for the price. The versatility that it offers with all of the attachmentsalone makes it a relatively good deal.
Having the ability to blend liquids, smoothies, and shakes in both a group size with the 72 ounce container as well as insmaller cups on the fly, makes it very nice as normally you would need two completely separate machines for this which will run you roughly $100 to $150 each.
This machine does all of the jobs that it is advertised to do pretty well, and its versatility offers you the ability to do many things with one device.
You can do several food processing jobs with this as well as,blending and mixing. While many individual devices can do these jobs better, you would be spending a lot more money in order to have each device present in your kitchen.
It completes most jobs in about 30 seconds. This gives you the ability to create some delicious treats for unexpected company, or to have some wonderful snacks quickly prepared at any time.
The amount of room that this blender takes up is pretty substantial though. It is 18 inches tall with the 72 ounce liquid pitcher installed and the base has a footprint of 9 inches by 8 inches. Many owners have stated that in order to store it on their countertops that it must be disassembled and the accessories stored separately from the base as it will not fit under many countertops assembled.
Another thing that should be mentioned here is that you need to be certain that there is no loose debris present on your countertops prior to using this unit. This is because there are suction cups which stick to your countertopwhile you are operating the blender. If there is any debris present under the suction cups, then you can risk them not making a full seal which may result in movement of the blender while in use.
It is a fairly loud unit when in use but what blender isn’t? If you are using a machine to crush ice and frozen fruits and vegetables, you would be a little over-expectant to not have some associated noise.
One concern that I really have with this machine, is that second set of blades. Since they are optional for many uses, they are removable, and potentially pose a risk to children as well as adults. They areextremely sharp, and can result in cuts while unpacking the unit and also when cleaning.
Another concern that I have is the warranty that comes with this product. It is a 2 Year Limited Warranty that doesn’t cover normal wear and tear. The issue I have with this is that pretty much anything could potentially be considered normal wear and tear. Not to mention the fact that if you need to use this warranty, you are required to pay the $20 shipping fee that goes along with sending it back to the factory.
The good news is that you can resolve this issue easily by purchasing an extended warranty for just a little bit more money at most retailers. Some examples of this are the Smart Guard and Assurant plans available at Amazonwhich are right around $20 for 2 years of coverage at the time of this review.
When making smoothies in this unit, many users have stated that it leaves a chunky, grainy texture to the smoothies. While with some blends this can certainly be true, many times it is simply improper blending that gives these results. In order to avoid making these same mistakes with your Ninja unit, you can see a more detailed explanation on just how to properly use your Ninja over here.
While making smoothies I found the one issue that perhaps irked me more than anything else about this unit was that in order to add more ingredients to my liquids or smoothies while blending required me to completely stopthe blender, remove the lid, and then add ingredients.
I understand why this is the case though. With the loose additional blade system, it would be a major safety issue to be able to add additional ingredients while in use. Still, this makes for a slight inconvenience that for some reason really bothered me personally.
So Who Is This Ninja System For?
If you are looking for a great blender for the price that will doa lot of different jobs in the mid-line price range, then you will most likely be very satisfied with this unit.
However, this one is a great unit for all the jobs that it can do.If you want something that will give great results without breaking the bank, then you will most likely be happy with this one.
Where Can You Find The Best Price On The Ninja Ultima BL820?
While the Ninja Ultima Kitchen System is frequently advertised via television infomercial, you can find a much better price on it elsewhere saving you up to $150. The best consistent price that I’ve seen is over at Amazon. There are however, some occasional deals that other sites will post. Normally, these deals will only differ by about $20-$30 and they are normally only valid for a day or so.
Also, don’t forget to check out the extended warranty coverage that many retailers, including Amazon, offer on this. If your unit breaks down a couple of years down the road, you will want to make sure that your investment is properly covered so that you don’t have headaches while trying to get it replaced or repaired.
The Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL820) is an auspicious kitchen appliance that is worth owning it. Its blade speed is considered a professional one as it offers outstanding speed and performance for food processing and blending. It makes use of Dual Stage Blending technique used in creating several delicacies like smoothies, dips and sauces. Gentle blending and perfect crushing is made possible; thanks to the Pro Variable speed design. The Nutri Ninja cups are specifically for preparing smoothies that are personalized and delicious. This Ninja model utilizes Sip and Seal lids for convenience. You can effortlessly mix pizzas, extract nutrients and vitamins and last but not the least makes cookie dough using the blender.
- Dual Stage Blending Technology: This is a unique technology by Ninja and that is why it has a patent. It offers high speed which is facilitated by the high torque gears it has. Two blades are able to rotate at a go but the distinct thing is that each one of them is doing so at different speeds. Total crushing becomes a reality as it crushes the big particles at first and then liquefies it altogether.
- XL 8 Cup Food Processing Bowl: It has a reversible slicer, stainless steel blades, dough mixer and grating disc. This accessory makes the blender a dependable appliance that does a commendable job every time.
- Nutri Ninja Nutrient & Vitamin Extraction: Any time you are preparing anything using it, this feature ensure that you get all the nutrients and vitamins available in what you are blending.
- Dishwasher safe.
- BPA free.
- Versatility: you can prepare dough, crush ice and also pulverize fruits and vegetables.
- High torque.
- When used correctly, perfect smoothies become a reality.
- Assembling and its disassembling are simple.
- Easy to use.
· Easy to overfill if you don’t take a closer look.
To enjoy all nutrients and vitamins from your food, the Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL820) can do a great role in delivering that.
Ninja Nutri Blender Review BL450
Because of its size, I questioned the power of the Nutri Ninja. Fortunately, this single-serve blender more than put my concerns to rest and nailed all of our realistic usage tests. For $90, it makes smoothies as well as some $400 and $500 models. What’s more, it completes these tasks quickly and with style. The single-serving containers easily transform from blending jars to travel-ready cups.
However, Hamilton Beach has also released plenty of models that can do simple things like smoothies, and they typically retail for $40. Newer versions of this discount brand, like the Stay or Go model even include similar to go cups. Sure, the Nutri Ninja looks better and blends quicker, but other high-end blenders multitask to justify the cost increase. Without a larger container, Nutri Ninja couldn’t effectively perform food processing tasks.
With 900 watts at the Nutri Ninja’s disposal, a bigger jar with measurement lines might have rounded out the product and made it a steal. As it stands, all you’re getting for the extra $50 over a Hamilton Beach model is speed and style. That’s not enough for me to universally recommend this product, but if all you’re looking for is an easy-to-use, single-serve smoothie maker, the Nutri Ninja is certainly worthy of your consideration.
Design and usability
Ninja has produced several high end blenders, including one of our office favorites, the Ninja Ultima. The Ultima retails for only $260 and can match the $400 to $500 models across the board. For the Nutri Ninja, it has streamlined the design to a quick-and-easy single-serve model, dialing the power back from 1,500 watts with the Ultima to 900, and in doing so, getting the price down to an MSRP of $90.
You can purchase the Nutri Ninja at all major retailers throughout the US and Canada. It’s referred to both as the Nutri Ninja and the Nutri Ninja Pro, though there’s no difference between the models. Though the suggested retail is $90, many places are currently selling it for $100. It is not currently available overseas.
The Nutri Ninja looks similar to the much-hyped NutriBullet, and indeed, since the box runs through a comparison of the former to the latter, it was obviously designed to compete and win over some of the health-conscious smoothie makers interested in the “nutrient extraction” of these machines. Nutri Ninja even boasts a patented “Pro Extractor Blade” for cutting through skins, seeds, and stems so you can access all of the health benefits offered by various kinds of food.
If you have another high quality blender and are wondering if you’re missing out on some secret extra process employed by the Nutri Ninja or NutriBullet, rest assured, you’re not. “Nutrient extraction” simply means it’s good at chopping up fruits and veggies, that’s it. Compared to store-bought fruit juice loaded with sugar and artificial flavoring, it will be more healthful.
If your blender is old enough that making smoothies involves picking out chunks of seeds and pulp when you’re done, sure, advantage to the new guys. That said, most modern blenders can make smoothies with ease. In fact, every blender we’ve tested at CNET aced this basic test, including the $40 Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart Blender.
The advantage of the Nutri Ninja is the amount of power it packs into a small and relatively cheap machine. 900 watts is a solid increase over the 700 offered by Hamilton Beach and the 600 of Nutribullet. It spins its blades at 21,000rpm. Again, this is impressive since the NutriBullet can only reach 10,000rpm. There are plenty of 1,000- or 1,500-watt blenders, including others by Ninja, but those typically sell for more than twice as much.
The Nutri Ninja also boasts a significant cool factor. It’s sleek and simple. In the box, you’ll find the motorized base, the blade attachment, a 24-ounce cup, an 18-ounce cup, and two custom-fit lids. The instruction manual is simple and helpful, and they’ve even thrown in a recipe book to help you get started if you purchase this blender with healthful eating in mind.
To use it, load your ingredients into either cup, seal it shut with the bladed lid, flip it over and put it on the base, turn it to lock it in place, then push down in pulses until your ingredients reach the desired consistency. When your smoothie is ready, unlock the cup from the base by turning it in the opposite direction, remove it and flip it, then unscrew the blades. You can run out with that cup in hand, grabbing a sipping lid and turning it into a to-go container as needed.
It’s easy, effective, and fun to transform your blending container into your drinking cup. The Nutri Ninja has enough power to prepare your food quickly, and I liked that through pulsing I have direct control over the thickness of the mixture. If you need something finer, you can hold the container down on the base and it will stay on, but the manual recommends pulses.
You can place the cups and lids in the dishwasher for cleaning, including the blade attachment, then simply wipe off the base when it needs it with a damp cloth. Normally, no food will contact the base outside of spills, so a quick occasional wipe-down will do. Alternatively, you can fill up either jar with warm water and a little dish soap and pulse it a few times. Rinse everything off and you’ll be good to blend again unless you were just mixing something particularly sticky.
The pieces fit together well and offer a solid grip despite not having handles. Altogether, I was able to make a smoothie from scratch and clean up for the next round within a couple of minutes.
That’s not to say the design is without flaws. Both jars are intentionally narrow to allow them to fit in cup holders as needed. When blending, that occasionally would cause tightly packed foods to jam in the middle and fail to reach the blades. Putting the biggest foods on the bottom helps, but because you’ll flip the container 180 degrees from filling it to blending with it, just be sure to plan ahead and keep in mind what the actual bottom will be.
Flipping to blend also works against this Ninja with any syrups or sticky liquids you include in your recipe. When I prepared a pesto with olive oil, it naturally flowed to the bottom as I put the ingredients into the container. I attached the blade and flipped it to place it on the base for blending, and some oil remained stuck to the top.
A few blenders have small openings you can use to scrape the sides while your mixing jar is in place. The Nutri Ninja’s simplicity works against it here; there was no way I could help it out other than giving it a shake, which didn’t solve any of the serious jams. Without openings, it’s also more difficult to tell if your drink is done, especially if it’s coating the walls of the container after a couple of pulses, and you can’t push that residue down without taking it off the base and removing the blades.
If you blend something thick, including something as basic as ice, having to pull off the blade attachment to access your food can prove problematic as it’ll gather around the blades near the opening and force you to tug the lid to remove it. Once you get the blades off, be careful not the leave them lying around. The fact that they’re a separate, small attachment worried me. I would have appreciated a safe way to store them without reattaching them to a cup. If you make two smoothies, they’ll be sitting out, exposed somewhere until you’re done drinking out of those containers.
The little annoyances and missteps of the Nutri Ninja added up for me as I tested it. I still like the design and find it easy to use, but the limitations prevent it from being an all-purpose blender I could recommend to anyone.
Mostly, it’s the lack of features that hold the Nutri Ninja back from greatness. For multipurpose blending, the Nutri Ninja just doesn’t have enough room or options to help you get the job done. Yes, 900 watts is enough for most tasks, but it’s missing the equipment necessary for serious cooking. This lack of options is really what you’re sacrificing for the cheaper price.
The base doesn’t have a single button, a bold choice for a blender and again, one that works fine for smoothies and light tasks. However, without a button, there’s no way to keep the blender running without pushing down on the jar. There are no presets to use for different speeds or pulsing settings. Press down and it will blend. That’s it.
An on-off button and a bigger jar with measurement lines would have been simple but highly meaningful additions. The Ninja Ultima has this and includes the handy to-go cups. They are an extra, not the star, and the Ultima works better as an all-purpose machine because of it. Sure, it costs much more, but the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Blender retails for $40, includes two cups for on-the-run blending, and has a 32-ounce jar with a wider circumference to allow more food to reach its blades.
The Stay or Go has less power to offer, but did the smoothies, pesto, and coffee grinding just as well, albeit a bit slower. On top of that, the Stay or Go includes an on/off switch, so the extra time required won’t be quite as tedious as you can leave it blending while you multitask.
The Nutri Ninja is a simple machine, and $90 isn’t bad for a one-trick wonder, but it falls a few features short of being a great deal.
We use a variety of foods when testing blenders to examine how well it does with general day-to-day tasks, and then to find its functional limits. For the basics, we make a smoothie and examine its consistency and we crush ice. We mix pancake batter to see if the blender directs food to the blades well, or if it loses chunks along the edges and in corners. We even make whipped cream to see if it can handle more delicate tasks. Finally, we make a spinach pesto to test the hardier end of a normal blender’s functional limits.